Book Reviews

Would You Work for You?
Sam Geist
Addington & Wentworth
327 Renfrew Drive, Suite 301
Markham, Ontario, Canada, L3R 9S8
(905) 475-1022
ISBN: 1-896984-12-6
$24.95

David Leonhardt
Reviewer

“Why another book on leadership in a market overcrowded with materials discussing the subject?” author Sam Geist begins Would You Work for You? On the next line, he answers, “Despite the proliferation of books, tapes and seminars devoted to the topic, many of us are still struggling to become more effective leaders of ourselves and others in today’s fast moving environment.”

Quite frankly, Geist’s answer did not convince me that we need another book on leadership. That being said, his book is not bad. It covers the basics and it gives practical advice. And, though it is no work of literature, there are many interactive features that make Would You Work for You? an easy-to-read and useful manual. Here are just a few examples:

Each chapter ends with the question: “Would you work for you? Yes. No. I’m not sure at this time,” followed by a series of soul-searching questions related to the chapter. The same title question is, of course, asked on the cover, accompanied by a mirror that cleverly forces the reader to stare himself in the face before even opening the book.

Handy lists are scattered through the pages. Among those lists are “Leaders’ tips on saving time”, a hiring interview form, “Seven ways to inspire” and my favorite, “understanding human behaviour principles.”

Geist quotes liberally from well-known leaders such as Colin Powell, Robert Haas (Levi Strauss), Charles E. Wilson (General Motors), Ralph Nader, and Francis Bacon.

Geist lays out his premise in the preface, ironically using a lengthy quotation from a British entrepreneur, summarizing the difference between a boss and a leader. Geist’s key message is simple: don’t be a boss, be a leader. It is timeless wisdom, articulated for our times.

Does the author know what he is talking about? After a lifetime as a marketer, manager, consultant and speaker on subjects such as customer service and staff motivation, he must have picked up a thing or two. And it was clear in a face-to-face interview that he is at least as passionate about his subject as any author I know - complete with arms waving in every direction and voice rising as he warms to his topic.

If your bookshelf is already lined with books about leadership and business management, this book probably won’t add much. But if you are looking for some guidance, inspiration and useful advice on leadership, Would You Work for You? should be on your shopping list.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of "Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: The 9 Habits of Maximum Happiness". www.leonhardtonline.com

Rhode Island A to Z
Adam Gertsacov/Donna Atwood
Donna Atwood Design
1137 West Culver Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-1908
(602) 254-7168
www.atwooddesign.com
ISBN: 0966029380
$9.95

David Leonhardt
Reviewer

Quick! What’s a quahog? Where is America’s third oldest zoo? How many islands does Rhode Island have?

For the answers to these and other exciting questions, we turn to … a coloring book! Rhode Island A to Z is a coloring book for kids of all ages. (Well, it targets children ages nine to 12, but adults seem to be buying it for themselves, too.) Author Adam Gersacov, a professional clown, calls it a “coloring/learning book”.

As you might guess, each letter of the alphabet in Rhode Island A to Z is attached to some aspect of Rhode Island history and culture. Maybe you thought Rhode Island would be too small to have an entire alphabet soup of culture. Think again. Gerasacov has it covered from X-treme sports to Kingscote Mansion.

This may be Gersacov’s first book, but illustrator Donna Atwood has produced three other coloring/learning books, all about the southwest.

There is no question this book is educational for the age group it targets, and the concept is refreshing. As I expected, it is easy to read and easy to understand. And it even includes a historical time line. Anyone living too far away for a weekend in Rhode Island can see the state in all its splendor … and with custom colors, too.

Can it be improved upon? Well, I have one suggestion: close up a few dangling questions. For instance, we are told that “Rhode Island has more coastline (by percentage) than any other state.” By percentage of what? Area? Borders? Population? An educational book has to be clear to be effective.

And we discover that Rhode Island has the third-oldest zoo in the United States, but where is the oldest? Why does are we left hanging? Are they playing a practical joke on us? Or are they just building anticipation for 49 more coloring books? Well, maybe one more, admits Gersacov. Clever ploy.

Oh, yes. A quahog is a hard-shelled clam.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of "Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: The 9 Habits of Maximum Happiness". www.leonhardtonline.com





Coloring Outside the Lines
The Business Conference Press, Monroeville, PA. 2001
By Jeff Tobe with Drawings by Jordan Tobe
ISBN: 0-9662689-2-X - Hardback
$19.95
Nonfiction

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of "This is the Place"

No matter if how-to books are valuable. Most of us haven't time for them. Many are ugly, hefty, and absolutely bone-dry.

Jeff Tobe undertook a business book in which he "Colored Outside the Lines." He supplies all we need to know about creative marketing within a slim, attractive, memorable volume. The author polishes up a dull subject with images from the sports world and from children's games. He supplies an intriguing diagnosis of stale business practices he calls BPIP (Business Professionals Innovation Deficiency) with all its symptoms. These include Past-a-Plegia, Internal Myopia, and Psycho-Sclerosis, all of which make anthrax seem innocuous.

The book itself colors outside the lines, a tribute to Tobe's own philosophy. The cover is colored more like an Easter basket than a business book, the typeface is positively enchanting (and readable) and his advice is anecdotal, not built with dry-old, tired-old businessese.

Tobe's message is to achieve success by thinking differently; this book illustrates this very premise. He takes a risk in order to set an example for any business--traditional, creative or entrepreneurial.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a columnist for the Pasadena Star-News and an occasional movie reviewer for the Glendale News-Press. Her award-winning book, "This is the Place," is a coming-of-age story about a young journlist who who finds her own path by learning more about her own ancestors. Her new book, "Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered" will be published in 2002 and she has begun a book of poetry called Skyscapes: A Woman's Memoir in Poetry. Find out more at www.tlt.com/authors/carolynhowardjohnson.htm.



Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary
Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995
ISBN: 087779913X - Trade Paperback
Reference
$4.99
369 pages

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This is the Place

The Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary is a book that should be on your reference shelf only if you agree with the following generalizations:

1. I like to write a little doggerel now and then-for over-the-hill birthdays or graduation or whatever.
2. There are times when my letters would benefit from a rhymed introduction. A rhyming dictionary may be a dandy way to teach youngsters the vagaries of spelling

If you do agree, know that this is the definitive reference for rhyming. A word of advice, though. This book is not easy to use. They say even a dictionary is difficult if you don't already know the rudiments of spelling. This is one is trickier. When you buy a bike, you should "read the instructions before assembly." It is even more important to read the preface of this dictionary before you try to use it.

I'd love it if there were an easier approach to finding a good rhyming word. I can't think of one. The advantage to doing it the way Merriam's does it is that, if you want a rhyme that isn't kitschy or too pat, it will be easy to find near the word's precise rhyme. The way it is set up, similar sounding words are grouped near the perfectly-matched rhymes.

Most poets already know the secrets of this book. It won't be long before the rest of us-including new poets like me--will get the hang of such literary jargon as "main entries," "cross-referenced entries," "identification numbers," and "inflected and derived forms." It's a little like doing a crossword puzzle. I'm beginning to love this!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a columnist for the Pasadena Star-News and an occasional movie reviewer for the Glendale News-Press. Her award-winning book, "This is the Place," is a coming-of-age story about a young journlist who who finds her own path by learning more about her own ancestors. Her new book, "Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered" will be published in 2002 and she has begun a book of poetry called Skyscapes: A Woman's Memoir in Poetry. Find out more at www.tlt.com/authors/carolynhowardjohnson.htm.

-- E.R.D.: The above book is good for songwriting!





Guitar For Dummies
Mark Phillips, John Chappell, Jon Chappell
ISBN: 076455106X
$18.00

Teaches you generic guitar playing.







Rock Guitar for Dummies
Jon Chappell, Carl Verheyen
ISBN: 0764553569
$18.00

Designed for those who want more of a rock or electric edge to their playing...







Their First Time in the Movies (With DVD & VHS)
Les Krantz
Hardcover - 160 pages Bk/Dvd/vid edition Overlook Press
ISBN: 1585671983 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.06 x 11.53 x 8.99
$38.50

Just because I, Earl R. Dingman, Co-Editor of Entertainment here at Issues helped by assisting in the audio - visual materials for this book, is no reason to go out and buy this book (I take this point of view largely because I got paid a flat fee and don't get a royalty, otherwise I'd be DEMANDING you buy a copy)!

This is a beautiful, oversized, coffee table type hard cover book with a concise look at the various mega-stars (such as Robert DeNiro, Brad Pitt, Elvis Presley, Mariyln Monroe, Julia Roberts, just to drop a few names) plus a big picture of each star.

Also included in the package is a DVD and VHS tape with clips for various stars contained in this book so you can see what they were like their First Time!

-- E.R.D.


Overture Search the Web.
Type it and go!

The Musician's PlaceTo Shop!




Instant Gift Certificates!





© 2001-2003 Issues Magazine.
All Rights Reserved.
editors@issues-mag.com



Bear with us! We've moved to a new host and some automated things need tweeking!





Get 15 FREE prints!